Consequences in Social Media

Guest Post by Julie Terling, AVP Marketing, ADI

Social Media tools and networks are being developed and launched at such a breakneck speed; it’s hard to keep up. Most of us come across these tools through word-of-mouth or by association; people we know and interact with entice us to use them.

For most of us, we enter into them for the social aspect, or to engage with people in ways that may lead to developing business relationships and/or new contacts. But what we may not realize is how our behavior is shaped or extinguished by what does or does not happen to us as a result of our online actions.

Take for instance Facebook.  Understandably, Facebook lends itself to more personal types of interactions. Whether it is friends, family members or staying on top of what’s happening with a particular group you follow (bands, businesses, local chapters, etc.) your user behavior tends to be more relaxed and casual.  Have you stopped to think what happens to your behavior when you post a status update that no one “likes” or comments on? Or worse yet, when you receive a comment that you view as negative? Are you more or less likely to put yourself, and your thoughts, out there next time?

A recent study reported that 40% of people who were “unfriended” by someone on Facebook would avoid contact with that person in the "real world." This same study also indicates that people spend 25% of their time online using social networks and that there is a different set of behaviors, language and etiquette for social media. Where is the handbook for that? If you don’t know them, or learn them quickly, your time on social media will be punishing and short lived.

When we engage in social interactions, it’s easy to forget that behavior is behavior and that there are consequences associated with what we do and say. Knowing and understanding behavior scientifically can help improve any relationship, even those we have through social networks.  And, let’s face it, there is a business case for using social media whether we like it or not. As the saying in business goes, “You can never know too many people.” One thing we know for sure, the more “likes” you get, the more apt you are to “like” others.  The laws of behavior are always at work. When you understand them, social media will always increase the positive reinforcement in your life. If you don’t, then…  

Posted by Aubrey Daniels, Ph.D.

Aubrey is a thought leader and expert on management, leadership, safety and workplace issues. For the past 40 years, he has been dedicated to helping people and organizations apply the laws of human behavior to optimize performance.